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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So far, one of the six recordings I've made since my complete reformat has been a dud. That's 83% reliability (measured in a rather simplistic fashion). The program shows a one-hour duration. But, when I try to view it, the time cursor won't advance. All I see is a black screen. Nevertheless, the unit isn't locked up. I can still use the remote to view other programs.

Given this test data, I decided to perform some experiments. First, I used the skip-to-end feature and managed to get to the end of the program. But, on replay, it had the same black screen.

I again used skikp-to-end. This time, I did a fast rewind. The rewind stuttered at 14 minutes. Soon thereafter, the screen went black.

Thing is, I remembered the material at the 14-minute point. That's where I'd left off viewing earlier in the day. At the time of original viewing, all had seemed well.

I again went to the end. Then, I rewinded to the 14-minute point and viewed a minute or so of program. Then, I began a slow rewind to beginning. This went okay up to about the first minute of the program. So, I was unable to completely recover the program. But, I was able to view all the program content other than a few seconds of commercial lead-in. If the program had been important, I'd have been able to burn it to DVD.

Lesson learned: the R15 seems to store some state information that is updated as a program is viewed or possibly if viewing is interrupted. Somehow, this data can become corrupted, resulting in a non-viewable program. However, various manipulations of the program may be possible despite the corruption. In some cases, essentially all program content remains accessible via the skip-to-end and rewind functions.

It's hard to blame this on some accumulated problem such as a corrupted filesystem. The first time I saw a problem such as this was serveral weeks ago. So, this is either a hardware problem that has occurred during my time of ownership or a software defect associated with a release installed within the last month or so. I suspect the latter.

Does my ability to eventually view the content mean I have to back off my claim of 83% reliability and award the unit a 100% reliability rating? I think not... :nono:
 

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Did you do the Reset Everything reformat or the DA/REC reformat?

There's also another reset that runs through the guided setup. It's not the Reset Recorder or the Reset Everything, I think it's like a guided setup of some type. Did you try that.

If those cause problems as your stating call and get a new unit. My R15 (which is now in storage) never displayed any of those black screens since mid summer. I did a DA/REC in August and while I experienced the other "normal" problems, not those playback problems.

Also, I don't recall, what's your model number? Mine was a -500.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The unit is an R15-500. I did the Reset Everything and then, about 18 hours later, the DA/REC reformat. So, I've covered both bases.

I've done the guided setup several times in the past. Since the Reset Everything led me through a similar series of steps, I figured I had that base covered, too. Not so?

At my last attempt (probably May 2005), the CSR refused to send me a new unit, saying I'd have to agree to a billable service call. I presume they'd have reversed the charge if the unit was determined to be bad. But, the CSR didn't mention that possibility. I haven't spoken with DirecTV since that call.

Overall, I'd say the severity and frequency of problems I've experienced is toward the high end of what I've seen reported here. But, I continue to suspect that my problems (with the exception of an audio glitch I haven't noticed since reset) are software rather than hardware.

Nevertheless, I think you're right. It's time to call DirecTV again. I'm just not very eager to suffer additional abuse....

P.S. I decided to contact--or attempt to contact, as it may turn out--DirecTV by using the customer service link on their web page. The advantage of doing so is that I hope to be able to obtain an accurate transcript of all subsequent communication. I plan to share relevant details with the members of this forum.

Cheers,
 

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Remember this isn't a warranty issue. They shipped you a faulty unit....hardware/software doesn't matter. It doesn't perform as advertised. This should have nothing to do with a protection plan or warranty. It's a bad unit from the get go.

It's just freggin ridiculous that they can't get these units working reliably. Some do, some don't. This shouldn't be the customer's problem and shouldn't cost the customer to fix these problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't disagree. But, DirecTV has taken the contrary position. That, rather than the technical problems themselves, is actually my point in the (relatively mild) invective I've sometimes directed toward DirecTV and its policies. :mad:

I think that it was shortly after I first expressed this opinion, and was roundly thunked upside the head by some for heaping so much undeserved abuse on the nice folks at DirecTV, that I drastically cut back on my participation in this forum. The prevailing mood at the time was that we needed to be really kind and understanding so that DirecTV would enjoy reading this forum and be really nice to us in return for our patience and grace. :eek2:

I personally don't think that's a very practical model of customer behavior except in contexts in which the company owns up to problems and makes diligent efforts to do right by its customers. I don't believe that DirecTV has done right by me. :nono2: Others are entitled to their opinions, of course.

Frankly, actions such as lawsuits don't seem to me to be much, if any, less practical than infinite grace. And, in the face of such smug invulnerability, aggressive action would be much more satisfying at an emotional level. I'd put $100 in the hat just to make the point that companies can't always get entirely away with stonewalling valid customer complaints. DirecTV might not lose the case but they'd sure as shootin' have to defend against it and we'd surely see it on the evening TV news. The prospects for moral victory are moderately high. ;)
 

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wbmccarty said:
I don't disagree. But, DirecTV has taken the contrary position. That, rather than the technical problems themselves, is actually my point in the (relatively mild) invective I've sometimes directed toward DirecTV and its policies. :mad:

I think that it was shortly after I first expressed this opinion, and was roundly thunked upside the head by some for heaping so much undeserved abuse on the nice folks at DirecTV, that I drastically cut back on my participation in this forum. The prevailing mood at the time was that we needed to be really kind and understanding so that DirecTV would enjoy reading this forum and be really nice to us in return for our patience and grace. :eek2:

I personally don't think that's a very practical model of customer behavior except in contexts in which the company owns up to problems and makes diligent efforts to do right by its customers. I don't believe that DirecTV has done right by me. :nono2: Others are entitled to their opinions, of course.

Frankly, actions such as lawsuits don't seem to me to be much, if any, less practical than infinite grace. And, in the face of such smug invulnerability, aggressive action would be much more satisfying at an emotional level. I'd put $100 in the hat just to make the point that companies can't always get entirely away with stonewalling valid customer complaints. DirecTV might not lose the case but they'd sure as shootin' have to defend against it and we'd surely see it on the evening TV news. The prospects for moral victory are moderately high. ;)
I don't know if anyone realizes what a difference it makes when the company "owns up". Even though the reality remains the same, the attitude of the victims becomes kinder and gentler. :grin:
 

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Wolffpack said:
Remember this isn't a warranty issue. They shipped you a faulty unit....hardware/software doesn't matter. It doesn't perform as advertised. This should have nothing to do with a protection plan or warranty. It's a bad unit from the get go.

It's just freggin ridiculous that they can't get these units working reliably. Some do, some don't. This shouldn't be the customer's problem and shouldn't cost the customer to fix these problems.
I don't think they want to fix the R15, they have people(most people) stuck in a 2 year commitment and know the consumer can't do anything about it.

Plus most people who have the R15 doesn't go to places like this and will think it's "there fault" it's not working not D* fault.

Mean while they keep fixing the HR20 with updates till it's reliable:rolleyes: (like thats gonna happen) and probably have just 1 universal DVR and make anyone who wants to switch pay $300 and 2 more years on there commitment.
 
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